Serbia's Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski Rit Ramsar Site
The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Serbia's Department for Protection of Nature and Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, with the assistance of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, has designated Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski Rit (8,292 hectares, 45°10'40"N 020°04'10"E), a Special Nature Reserve and BirdLife IBA in Vojvodina province, as that country's tenth Wetland of International Importance. As described by Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for Europe, Kati Wenzel, the site is well preserved mosaic of river arms, ridges, meanders, canals, ponds, reed beds, wet meadows, marshes, pastures and forests along both sides of the Danube. This alluvial area is shaped by regular flooding and vegetation succession, as well as by human activities, and harbours large numbers of threatened plant species such as Water Violet Hottonia palustris and Four-leaved Clover Marsilea quadrifolia.
It is crucial as a spawning ground for many fish species such as Sterlet Acipenser ruthenus and important for many birds, including Black Stork Ciconia nigra, amphibians like Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus, and diverse species of invertebrates, reptiles and mammals. It is used for forestry, hunting, traditional fishing as well as for cattle breeding to preserve native species of horses, donkeys and cows. Pristine landscapes, authentic settlements and monuments of cultural and historical significance make the site attractive as a tourist destination. Various factors threaten this site including the spread of invasive plant species, reed burning, illegal fishing and hunting, and infrastructure developments.
Photos courtesy of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia.